• Michelle Partington

Another brick in the wall.

I was listening to BBC Radio Manchester on the way to a job yesterday and Pink Floyd’s classic ‘brick in the wall’ was seeping out. Part of the lyrics ‘…leave those kids alone’ immediately sent my thoughts to all those hideous ‘beings’ who have been sentenced following child abuse allegations. It got me to thinking about my own life experience of the same. People who are meant to be in a position of trust completely shatter your belief in the world.

Think about every little breech of trust or harm dealt you throughout your lifetime and consider every one of those as a brick. Mentally pile those up in front of you and see how high your ‘wall’ becomes. I’m now 42 and since a VERY young age I have been building a wall in front of me to protect myself from others and I guess on occasion from myself. I did build a door to be able to walk through every now and again but as things have gone wrong the door has been damaged as I’ve slammed it shut on my way back in!! Dont get me wrong, each brick isn’t the result of someone else hurting me all the time. I have also hurt myself and others without intention. Having been subjected to terrible abuse I have found it difficult to interact and trust people for most of my life. Sometimes I’ve allowed myself to walk back out through the door or opened it to let someone in. I don’t believe that once you have built a wall it can easily come down again which is why I allowed for the door. Unless someone or something completely smashes through my wall it will stay up forever.

I have managed relationships with people as friends or intimately but they either walk away from me or I push them away. Due to the experiences I have been subjected to throughout my life I have grown an internal emotional switch which I cannot reach. I can be really keen to get to know a person yet when they get too close my emotional switch turns of automatically. It is terribly frustrating but I don’t have the power or the strength to find it and switch it back on. Instead I run back through my door, lock it behind me and suffocate myself behind my wall again. I could be deeply in love with someone having let them further into my protected ‘safe place’, then without warning I switch off and unconsciously slowly lead them back out of the door locking it behind them.

I know through experience that by building walls to protect you, it can also really hinder you. The wall keeps external hurt out but at the cost of stopping love getting in. This results in you then hurting yourself. One of those viceous circles you just can’t break away from. No amount of counselling I’ve received has been able to allow me to shred my protective layer for good. To do this would leave me way too vulnerable and I just cannot reduce myself to that place again. I guess I’m locked in….


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